Glad to have Diabetes

Plato once said that “attention to health is life’s greatest hindrance”. A lot of the time it’s easy to think about and focus on the negative side of life with IDDM. Really easy. But I also try really hard to think of the positive aspects. Come on, you know, there are just great things about the big D that make you get up on the morning and say “thank GOD I have THIS!”

Here are just a few I came up with:

In a group hostage situation you can be sure you’ll be among the first to be released, faster than you can jingle your MedicAlert bracelet and say “hey, does anyone have a drink? I’m feeling thirsty …”

You can speak with some authority on the subject of diabetes - unlike say, the subject of the current up-to-date situation in the Middle East - and wow friends and family with statistics and lots of complex, polysyllabic words like “hypoglycaemia”

You can demand regular sex from your partner and justify it on the grounds that it’s part of your medically prescribed exerciser routine

Rort the system and use it to get out of tricky university exams

When friends are arguing about where to go out to eat, you can say “I have to eat NOW” loudly - which usually means that they will exchange worried looks and hurry to the restaurant of your choice, little knowing that really you were just hungry and didn’t feel like Thai

Who wants a fully functional pancreas anyway? It’s so common.

Even though you may have no letters from that secret admirer, you’ll always have diabetes-related junk mail so you can know at least that you’ll have something to pull out of the mailbox in case neighbours are watching

You get to finely hone your swearing abilities with all those times when your BSL isn’t what you expected

Women with diabetes taste sweeter (I’ll leave that to your imagination!)

Enjoy the giddy feeling of living dangerously ALL THE TIME: “Bungy-jumping? A walking tour in Zaire? PAH! I have DIABETES!”

Always good emotional blackmail in a family fight (I’ve heard other people do this …)

When annoying men ask you “why do you always drink Diet Coke? You’re so image- conscious. Girls are always worried about their weight…” you can reply with “I have diabetes” and watch in delight as they turn bright red and mumble an apology.

Thanks to (occasional of course) hypos and very high blood sugars, you can experience unique body sensations and hallucinatory adventures without the use of illegal, expensive drugs: a cheaper night out!

Should you ever meet that special someone and s/he happens to have diabetes, you’ll always have something to talk about during those Awkward Silences. You can also employ unique flirting techniques: “I’ll show you my injection bruises if you show me yours …”

Should you ever NOT meet that special someone on a blind date or otherwise, just pull out your handy drug kit and excuse yourself for a well needed “fix” in the toilet.

Getting a tattoo is a breeze - it just feels like a few more injections than normal (and yes I do have one!)

Amuse yourself by trying to predict exactly what your BSL will be after that piece of sugar-coated mud cake, with honey and ice cream on the side.

I like your list on your fun spin on what can feel so overwhelming at times. Great job!

I know you meant it as a joke, but demanding sex from anybody is… well… it’s rape. Even if that person is your spouse. How about changing it to “If you and your significant other like to be frisky, then you can tell the doctor that you exercise six times a week even if you only going jogging three times!”?

You may have some good reasons in your book,but even on the pump and it making life alot more simplier I wouldn’t wish diabetes on my worse enemy!

I’m not offended because I don’t think you did anything maliciously. And, like I said before, I enjoyed most of the list. I wouldn’t wish diabetes on my worst enemy either, but there is no point in sitting around with a case of the "why me?"s for a disease that is probably not going away away time soon (unless a cure magically appears, knock on wood). Coming from that perspective, this is a great way to get a chuckle out of diabetes.

But, if I hadn’t said something about the “demanding sex” section, then as a member of the community I would have been giving my tacit acceptance of that statement. And I’m not cool with that. It’s sometimes hard for us to see that our words have meanings other than what we intended. I have a feeling this is one of those cases for you, and I just want to inform you that statements such as that can have very different meanings from the one you intended.

BTW, I thought of one more good thing to add to the list: Don’t want to share your candy? Diabetes to the rescue! Just tell somebody it’s your low BS candy.

I think this was a fun, light-hearted look at the other side of DM. Controversy aside, I think we all have to step back sometimes and examine the positive aspects of diabetes. I’m not saying that there aren’t days, weeks, months, etc that I don’t get fed up with the whole deal. But I can say, with 100% certainty, that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without diabetes.

This begins and ends with the fact that I was working in a diabetes research lab when I met my wife. She was friends from college with one of my co-workers. We met the week I went on my 1st pump (I was still on my saline start when we met). Now we have a wonderful 3 year old and life will never be the same. What interest would I have had in diabetes (or medicine at all for that matter), if not for growing up with diabetes? Where would I be now? I’m not sure that I want to know.

I am thankful everyday for that life changing event. It has allowed me to perhaps, in some way impact those around me. Rather than working just for my paycheck, I get to do what I love, all because of diabetes. That >2,500 individuals have joined this community is a tribute to the people (like Manny) who have made diabetes a positive part of life, rather than a negative. We should always hope that our experiences may comfort or make life easier for someone else.

“You can demand regular sex from your partner and justify it on the grounds that it’s part of your medically prescribed exerciser routine.”

Yeah, like THAT works. As if . . .

Here’s a few of my own from my “When to play the diabetes card” file:

. . . when someone sneers at you that the “low carb fad is over.”
. . . when you’re asked why you sitll use a pager.
. . . when someone offers you something really repulsive to eat - like Aunt Ima’s cole slaw.

Keep the humor tap on . . .


Demanding sex isn’t rape.
Coercing sex is rape.

Demanding is just asking. Loudly.


Asking loudly is more than just asking. Demanding implies that you are unwaivering in your request, whether or not the other person is in agreement with you.

Using your diabetes as “justification” is, in my book, coercion.

ha ha ha! these are all really funny! And I’ve definitely used diabetes as a way to NOT eat something repulsive!

This is a topic for a different forum.

I always have a problem when people say they are glad to have diabetes or the fact that they feel healthier because of this disease. I am like you Dee, also here is an article which conveys some of my feelings and or issues with this disease and why it breaks my heart when another child is diagnosed.

I agree that this is not the place to define what rape is or isn’t. What is relevant is that I see the original post as consenting to using diabetes as an excuse for rape, and you see it in a different light. I asserted my interpretation of the statement not to make the original poster feel bad, but to educate members of this forum that sometimes our words have meanings that we do not predict. The overall goal would be awareness of how some seemingly acceptable language can be sexist, racist, classist, or homophobic, and to try and rid TuDiabetes of such language.

The earliest time to shape the course of any social movement is its beginning. If we are here to create an activist social movement, then let’s make sure that we do it in a way that is not prejudiced to any specific group of people. I would even argue that we should be more aware of social inequalities as so many of them are heightened when it comes to access to medical care.

True, this is not the forum for defining rape. But, Sara, you have already set the definition by deciding that it IS rape.

Words do have meanings, and that’s my point. Rape has a very specific meaning. To suggest that convincing a person to have sex based on a lousy excuse is the same as physically forcing them to have sex waters down the definition of rape. It makes every guy with a silver tongue a rapist and makes every true rapist no worse than a lounge lizard.

The original post was gender neutral. It referred to a partner. There was no sexism, racism, classicism, homophobia or any other -ism or -phobia involved. It was a joke about using diabetes to convince ones partner (of unspecified sex)- not a stranger, not someone in a bar, not a person on the street, not a cute guy at a party - ones PARTNER, to have sex with you because it would help lower your blood sugar. That’s it.

If asking a person to have sex with you is just rude, but asking loudly is attempted rape, then the word rape has no useful meaning at all.

Whether this is the beginning of a social movement or not, nobody, not even you or I, can know when someone will take offense at what we write in all innocence. But we also need to be careful at the beginning of turning into the word police where we ignore the content of the message and focus on the hidden, unintended messages we find in a choice of words.

I’m done ranting. I’ll gladly discuss this elsewhere if you’re interested, but I won’t respond here to any further items. I didn’t write this to offend you or start up an argument with you, Sara, but I guess I’m a bit like you in some ways - words are important to me and some things I just can’t let go without remarking on them.

Best wishes,


I feel like this is something of a well-structured debate, and as such I too will make my final statement.

I stand by my original statement that the comment insinuates rape, a stance I will be happy to defend to anybody who wants to message me about it (or comment on my page, etc.). I think in this instance we just have to agree to disagree, since whether or not it is objectively rape (if there is such a thing as objectivity) is not the heart of the issue here (at least not for me).

I understand your reluctance to turn into the word police, and I understand the importance of focusing on the main message. However, it is often in the most “meaningless” instances of language that prejudice manifests itself, and thus those instances deserve our attention. Jokes probably deserve the most attention since they are often how prejudice is made acceptable in day-to-day interactions (“but it was only a joke!”).

I do agree that we cannot always guess how people will interpret our words, but we need to be open to admitting our mistakes, changing our actions in the future, and editing existing posts if need be.

Thanks for being so civil, Terry. I wish many more debates on the internet progressed in such a smooth fashion.

I didn’t mean to imply that I am glad to have diabetes. Rereading my post, I probably went overboard by saying “I’m thankful everyday for that life changing event,” but, it has directly lead to the place I am today, which I am very happy with. My point was to make the most of your situation. It’s a glass 1/2 empty or 1/2 full situation. I certainly pray everyday that I will never have to discover that my daughter has DM, as my parents did when I was diagnosed. I can’t imagine a more frightening situation. But, we all have it, bottom line. Now the question is “what are you going to do with it?”

The article you attached just sounds angry and being angry at diabetes doesn’t make it better or easier to control. We are all frustrated on a daily basis by diabetes, but the attitude of the author of that piece is defeatist. What kind of message is this mom sending to her young son by saying:
“Anyone who says you can have diabetes and lead a normal life is letting everybody off the hook and robbing [my son] Joey of a future. I don’t want Joey to live a life with diabetes; I want to find a cure. Diabetes only takes from people’s lives and I hate it,” says Joey’s mother, Sandra Silvestri of Calif.

That’s not the way to instill a sense of hope in a young child who must be terrified of what the future may bring. Instead, sign him up for a community like this, go to summer camp, do something positive with the reality that he has diabetes and it’s not going to be cured anytime soon. We are so lucky to have the options we have now versus when many of us were diagnosed. Pining away for a cure, while ignoring the present, is foolish and short-sighted. I have seen too many patients who say “I don’t want a pump,” or “I’m not going to test,” or whatever because they read about a “cure” in USA Today. That’s great to want a cure, we all do. But, deal with it now and embrace the good that you can do for someone else who is struggling with the same issues you once struggled with. This is why I joined this community and it’s why I say “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without diabetes.” I want to learn from other’s experiences and offer my own as a mutual benefit for all of us to manage our DM.

No, I’m not glad I have diabetes. Yes, I want a cure. However, I’m realistic and I realize it’s a lot easier to talk about curing DM1 than actually achieving functional islet transplant or immune modulation without ending up with a situation that’s clearly worse that what I am doing now. I hope this explains my thoughts, it’s a tough thing to verbalize and clearly can be misinterpreted, but it’s too important not to say.


I was not pointing fingers, but I do have issues with some people saying they are healthier because of this disease. I suppose for some people where their lifestyle has led them to a place of being a Type 2 this could be appropriate, even though we all know, Type 2 is not always caused by lifestyle, but their body not using their insulin correctly.

I just guess after 41 years of this disease I have had enough, but I truly know there are worse things in life.

It just breaks my heart every time a child is diagnosed. :frowning:

I can relate to the idea that it is a good thing that I have diabetes, but it is easy for me to say this since I got it (LADA) at age 53, not as a child. I am a cancer survivor and though I know that healthy eating and exercise were a way to try to avoid a recurrence, I didn’t change my lifestyle until my diabetes diagnosis. I ate pretty well before but now my diet is extremely healthy, I’m full of energy and feel 10 years younger. I’m lucky though in that I am not yet insulin dependent, and am hoping to extend the honeymoon indefinitely with my low carb, live food way of eating. Yes, I sometimes miss the foods I used to eat, but it’s a small price to pay for good health and avoiding complications.

“When friends are arguing about where to go out to eat, you can say “I have to eat NOW” loudly - which usually means that they will exchange worried looks and hurry to the restaurant of your choice, little knowing that really you were just hungry and didn’t feel like Thai.”

This is SO funny.

And I have SO been known to do it.

jenny, that was one of my favorite ones too!

In the case of a nuclear war DKA will take care of me. I won’t live long enough to starve during the nuclear winter, let alone long enough to get eaten by mutated zombies.