Diabetes as a force for good

I think we can all agree that diabetes is, quite literally, a pr!ck of a thing. No one wants it and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

However, being an eternal optimist, I’ve been looking for positives associated with diabetes. As someone who was diagnosed T1D at 30, the main positive for me is that it has brought my health into much greater focus. Whereas I used to make excuses I now feel I must exercise and eat healthily and, generally speaking, I do and I feel better for it.

Has anyone got any suggestions to add to the list? How has diabetes changed your life for the better?

There is not and NEVER will be anything "good" about D. I was doing all that bs-propaganda "they" say, like eating right, exercise, watching the weight before dx and look where I ended up, cursed for life with t1.

And, yes, I'm fully aware how I'll be slagged over my comments.

I truly hope that you are not as you said "slagged". Diabetes is a life long journey over a rough road and I believe that all can understand why you feel this way. If there is one thing this community is good at it is giving understanding and support.

I do like Pulli's positive attitude, it is a great coping mechanism.

I was diagnosed at 9, and after 22 years I still have not found anything very positive about diabetes. The one thing I can think of is that I've met a few people who I otherwise wouldn't have met. Otherwise, I feel diabetes has had a negative effect on my personality (made me more fearful and less of a risk taker), had a negative impact on my health, and mostly taken away experiences (being spontaneous, etc.).

I'm also legally blind (been so since infancy), and there is lots of positive I see in that, even though to many people it would seem worse than a death sentence. It's shaped my personality and perspective in a positive way (determination, perseverance, empathy, etc.), led to an amazing career (one where I have the opportunity to change others' lives for the better), gives me huge appreciation for the things I have in life (family, friends, home, work, etc.), and made me truly believe that anyone can do anything if given the opportunity, regardless of disability.

I am fully open to the idea that in another 10 or 20 years, I'll hopefully feel that diabetes has had just as positive an impact on my life as blindness has. One problem may be that blindness has already "taken" a lot of the positive things that most people attribute to diabetes, which will make it harder for me to find something positive about the condition.

I haven't found anything good about diabetes, but for that it helped me learn math a bit better. I have found out a few days ago that I am losing my sight, so I guess with that and diabetes, it helps keep me out of trouble.

T1D also abruptly and rudely joined my life at the age of 30. I fully understand some here that see nothing good about this disease. It is rotten and causes so much hardship and suffering.

That being said, we all freely fashion our response to this abrupt and rude intrusion of our lives. That is where I find motivation to actively fight diabetes. My response counts. My vote counts. How I respond to this cold reality counts. Accepting reality and responding appropriately makes me feel better.

As I alluded to above, my diabetes has taught me the importance of attitude. While we can't eliminate the one thing that we'd most like to eliminate, diabetes, we can choose how we respond. An active, vigorous, and appropriate response can bestow feelings of empowerment and confidence that will make a big difference in your quality of life.

Diabetes has taught me that information becomes powerful when I engage and act on it. When I was first diagnosed, I started on a once per day shot of NPH insulin. My interest in better control led to adding meal insulin and multiple daily injections. In turn that led to adopting a pump in the '80s. I jumped on the new rapid-acting insulin analogs when they came out in 1996. I added a CGM in 2009 and that change, alone, dropped my A1c by a full point. When I started limiting my carb consumption in 2012, my BG variability as well as exposure to punishing hypos plummeted and made my life much better.

I've learned that it's never too late to make changes. I've learned more about diabetes and made more significant treatment changes, enjoyed more actual benefits, since my 28th year of my 30 year "career" with diabetes than I would have thought possible.

I've learned that empathizing with my diabetes brothers and sisters provides real benefit for me as well as them.It adds meaning to my life!

I could go on and on but I've already tried your patience. As weird as it may seem, there is definitely a silver lining to this dark, dark diabetes cloud.

Melissa - I'm so sorry to read about the bad news of your failing eyesight. My thoughts are with you.

No slagging from me either. Sorry, but to be honest I get annoyed with people looking for something "good" about having diabetes. No, I am not negative about it and it has never stopped me from doing anything I set my mind to, but calling it a positive in my life? NFW on that one.

I see a large difference between having a positive outlook, and proclaiming to all who will listen that you find something positive about having a disease. I have a friend who had cancer (very aggressive), finished her chemo and went on vacation before going back to work, and met the man of her dreams. Should she be happy she got cancer and then had to have subsequent surgeries and is still not in the clear? Of course not.


I was dx in 1995. Omitting all the details, my largest strides forward (by far) have been made in just the last 2 or 3 years. My A1cs are the lowest they have ever been, and the most stable. Ditto for my lipids. And other things.

There is no possible doubt: were it not for diabetes I would not be taking care of myself the way I do. Full stop.

It's made me who I am today....When I was first diagnosed 30 years ago at age 12, I was angry with the world and constantly said it just "isn't fair" and as a consequence it ruled my life. After several years of struggling with my emotions and anger towards diabetes, I slowly but surely learned how to control it. This is how it helped shape who I am today. I realized that since I'm capable of controlling diabetes well and not allowing it to control me, I can do anything when I put my mind to it.

Melissa, I am sorry to hear of your eyesight problems. Hugs, Maureen

I am way healthier than I would be inclined to be if I didn't have diabetes. I partied a lot during college/ my 20s but always had my meter that sort of slowed me down. Hanging out with people who were passing out all the time destigmatized it for me but having diabetes sort of kept a leash on some of my more bestial inclinations. Now that I'm middle aged, it's totally motivation to work out, perhaps a mid-life "crisis" but I can't see how working out a lot is really bad for you. In 2011, I was training for the Chicago Marathon and noted when I ate more veggies, I felt better so I've kept that up. I suspect I'm healthier than many people in my cohort so I would say that having diabetes helps keep me pretty focused. It's sort of selfish but really, I have a disease. I'm gonna go work out...LOL..

I also see nothing good about diabetes. I was already very healthy prior to D, I ate a healthy diet, exercised and so on, I had some health issues but I managed them very well. I don't really seeing the point in trying to find something positive about a horrible disease which causes me to have 24 hr stress trying to manage my bg with tools that I can never do it very well with. Diabetes nearly killed me and now it requires constant attention, it has brought nothing whatsoever positive to my life at all. I'm not saying be totally negative all the time, but this business of having to say diabetes is good is just stupid imo.

In addition, I don't think there is one of us here who wouldn't be truly elated and overjoyed and thankful to be rid of diabetes forever, whether they can find something good about it or not, if not they're probably not being totally honest.

I get a free fridge at the hotel I go to anime conventions for...that's probably the only thing good about it. Probably also the push for me to improve my health overall, not necessarily diabetes alone, but because it affects my entire body rather clearly I have to stay on my game with health more and see the doctor more and keep myself healthy. I kinda needed a kick in the butt to be healthier , though for me it wasn't like fitness or food related but to see the doctor and watch my health overall more than just diet and fitness (which I already had down but unfortunately that didn't save me lol) .

to be rid of diabetes forever.....were it a real possibility! diabetes has made me eat better and if i were rid of D i think i would basically continue eating the way i do, but yeah, if D never happened and i still ate pizza without thinking, that would be pretty awesome.
nothing really THAT good.

lol.. well, I guess you could still eat pizza sometimes? Have you tried to? I haven't eaten anything like that.. just substitutes. I would just go back to eating the way I used to which was quite healthy most of the time but not so lo carb. I might continue wheat elimination most of the time though as it seems to affect me at times although I don't think I'm celiac.

T2 diagnosed at 57 in 2007. Nothing good at all about the D. Turn your life inside out and upside down. I still control with diet and exercise only after 7 years. But who knows how long that will last. I hate everything to do with it...

EXCEPT: the amazing people I have come to know here at TuD...Blessings on you all...Judith in Portland

when i go back to nyc i eat pizza, but just one slice instead of two. pre d, i lived in poland for a year and the pizza there was dire. when i went home for xmas that year i said i was ONLY going to eat pizza in nyc. i did it for 4 days, three meals a day. it was great, but after four days even i had had enough!

sometimes if we go out to dinner here at a good italian i might have a pizza instead of a meat/fish dish if im feeling particularly adventurous. i always have to correct for it afterwards, cant get the bolus right, even though ill try to mimic a dual wave bolus with my pen.

I eat pizza occasionally, pretty much thin crust. There's a Home Run Inn brand of frozen pizza that's about 28G of carbs for 1/3 of a pie, not too bad. It's probably similar to NYC pizzas but isn't the 16-20" pies that seemed to be the source of the slices so I'd have to do some pi-R-squared math type of stuff to calculate the volume of carbs or whatever. We also have a good takeout place that seems to "process" similarly. I mostly avoid it b/c I don't want to turn into a blob but every so often, I have a lazy day about cooking or something.

LOL! I agree with both of you. The question itself annoys me.

If diabetes was a positive thing then we would want to actively give it to people or say something like "Wow! Cool! You're so lucky."