Okay, almost 50 years in as a T-1 so I consider some of my information about this disease helpful. Having written that statement, I have to say this loud and clear, Diabetes Does NOT Get Easier. In my view it only gets more familiar. Big difference. So telling diabetics that it will get easier does not help.
No one on this planet, in this lifetime understands diabetes. This means that we are not the exception. We know what it takes to stay alive, what it feels like to live with a chronic disease second by second, what it costs us and our loved ones, but no one knows the complete story of diabetes. No one! Not the specialists, not the researchers, not the educators, no one. So why do we think that it is different for each of us?
I believe the "Art of Diabetes" is in the knowledge, support, understanding and stubbornness to keep on trying to stay alive in one piece may be the key to this disease. All of that takes time and often we do not have that time. All of us have dealt with despair at one time or another when it comes to the toll on our lives this disease takes. Some times it is just too much to endure. What then? Platitudes? I don't think so. A realistic look at what we are facing is the surest way to success.
I can hear some of you right now who disagree with me and that is fine. However, do you really believe that years later after your diagnosis that it is easier today than that first year? For most of us, it is actually more difficult as the complications creep in. Not very encouraging I agree but honest. In my world without the rules to the game I cannot win. I need to know the truth in what I am facing and then somehow find the courage to face it.
In 1995 I began to go blind in both eyes. Now I am a biker who operates her own 800 plus pound motorcycle. As far as I know they do not make a "seeing eye hog" so something had to be done. At first I quit working (at a career I loved) stayed home in bed for 20 hours a day and became clinically depressed. No one knew what to do as I have set myself up as a strong and independent woman. But, one day my hubby came home with a 1" blurb in a magazine looking for subjects for an Islet Cell Transplant study. I left the bedroom and started pursing this goal.
For 6 years I was in a world-wide trial to cure diabetes and became the 1st person in North America on 11 September 1998 to receive an Islet Cell Transplant. Rocked my world it did! I did not get off insulin but my complications stopped and began to reverse and my eyes were given a reprieve for 20 months. When I rejected I was beyond grief and practiced self pity until I relized that I had been given a window of opportunity to save my vision.
So far so good, but it was not easy! Never easy but always worth it in the end. I finally went on a pump (about 10 years ago) and started going to The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. There I had a victorectomy of each eye and found the most amazing medical professionals who understood the fine "Art of Being Diabetic."
Most importantly, I am still riding my own motorcycle. I have all of my original equipement (body parts) except for an appendix (removed healthy from my body another long story for later perhaps) and I think after almost 50 years I am accepting the hand dealth, diabetes.
So buck up my fellow diabetics, realize this is not easy, give yourself credit for making it this far and look forward to the next challenge that life hands you. Because anyone who can begin to master the art of diabetes can do anthing. Natianal health care in the USA anyone????? Jax