What have you learned about yourself, since being DX w/ diabetes? What has it taught you?

I know we have all had our ups and downs with being a diabetic; no matter what type you are. We always talk about the negative things associate w/ diabetes and never the positive. I asked myself what have I learned about myself since being dx with diabetes and what has diabetes taught me? I thought I would ask all of you the same questions…

I have to answer the question later because my lovely daughter wants me to watch TV w/ her.

This is a good question . I have learned that I am a much stronger person than I ever gave my self credit for . And one good thing I have found from having diabetes is great friends for support I have met a few in person and alot in the net that I hope to meet in the future .

I have learned that I can meet life-changing events with strength and determination, and that others look to that determination to find their own strength. I have found that without intending to be so, I have at times become a role model for others – with diabetes, with other health issues, or just… in general. I have written one more chapter in the personal hero tale that is my life…

Diabetes has taught me to be more compassionate to others - to understand what’s it’s like to be a little different. It has taught me a lot about nutrition - gave me the taste for the “good” foods and showed me (really well) how bad foods affect the human body. I have also learnt a lot about physiology (we all know a lot about the endocrine system). It has given me an appreciation of how incredible the human body truly is. And… most importantly… it’s given me a thicker skin. I am a much stronger person thanks to the ups and downs. This is a great topic for discussion! Thanks!

I learned that we ALL have some major struggles in life! I struggle with diabetes, but I know that everyone around me struggles with something! These struggles can bring us together.

I learned that I can only do things if I can see a clear defined reason to do so.

I’m a very busy person, but also quite a lazy person, so if I can justify to myself not doing something, then I won’t do it. If there is a specific reason something must be done, or a set goal, it makes it easier.

Ironically, since being diagnosed with diabetes I’m in the best health of my life, purely because I can see the benefits of looking after my body (i.e. I don’t want complications).

So for example, rather than ‘eat more healthily’, my goal is ‘don’t feel ill’. Instead of ‘do some exercise’ the goal is ‘minimise chances of complications’.

Also, I always though I had terrible willpower, but I’ve cut out all products with refined sugars in (jam, cakes, regular sodas, chocolate, etc) and it really doesn’t bug me, despite previously having the most enormous sweet tooth in the world.

I’m also kinda glad I got diagnosed after I’d been through university - got a lot of ‘self-abuse’ in the form of eating badly and drinking heavily out of the way there. Turns out that a diet of takeaway pizza and whisky ain’t the great for a diabetic!

Well, if I’m being honest, diabetes has taught me how much my life revolves around food.

And how easy it is for me to be very obsessive.

OTOH, if you have obsessive tendencies, diabetes is the disease to have!

I agree with Tracy here. Having diabetes, I think, gives us all a hightened sense of our bodies and how they work. We can tell if something is off and get it resolved quickly as opposed to letting it fester. We have to, our lives depend on it. I have also learned how to be extremely compassionate. Like others have said it could be a lot worse. Look at the rest of the world fighting wars, looking for survivors. I mean if $5 dollar gas is the worse thing that happens to us. So what??? We are alive and kickin! And free too!!!

The single best thing I’ve learned about myself since being diagnosed was that I’m the best person to direct my health care. Not a physician (although I found a really great one who correctly perceives that her job is to teach me to direct my own care), not a dietician, nutritionist, certified diabetes eductor (most are clueless about what is effective when it comes to diabetes), certainly not the government, third-party insurers, media, and lobby groups like ADA, but ME and all the other diabetics who LIVE our shared disease 24/7. The 'net is a blessing – grassroots informing and transforming health care delivery.

A “shrink” family friend once quipped, “if it weren’t for obsessive-compulsive personalities the world would grind to a halt. We suffer, but we get things done.” The older I get the more I appreciate my own obsessive tendencies and agree that diabetes is a good match for them.

I like the viewpoint of eating with the goal of “don’t feel ill” and exercising to “minimise chances of complications”. That’s pretty much how I’ve slotted it in my own head, but hadn’t put it into such clear terms as you have. Thank you.

What I have Learned since, not me, but my daughter has been dxd, That She has an enormous will power that most people do not have. She feels that having diabetes isn’t such a horrible thing; she has the chance to educate people about it. It has taught me to be patient all over again, to take time and not to always be in a rush, that there are times that "our world” will revolve around my daughter (ie: when she hits a low during an outing and everything stops until she is up) She has grown up faster in what she needs to know about her body, but is still able to live as a kid. And we have so much to learn about ourselves.

Oh, definitely on the self-education and self-direction thing! Especially most of us here, we are proactive in terms of monitoring, treating, and trying to stay In Control. What gets scary (and hurts emotionally) is when adults we love and care about are diagnosed, don’t test or change their habits (other than to take a pill in the morning) and, as long as the doctor sees a good A1C, tells them they’re doing fine… they do nothing to educate themselves or to take better care of themselves, and are not particularly interested in doing so…

Amen. My father died this January – after developing diabetes at age 90. His physician(s) didn’t see any reason for him to try to control his blood glucose. As a result, he went from alert and pretty darn healthy to dead in six months. The worst was the treatment he received in the hospital(s). Ironically, he was a doctor and KNEW the importance of keeping his readings “in the zone”. Carbs, carbs, carbs – until he became incredibly confused. Makes me too mad to see straight.

14 replies later…

Diabetes has taught me how to eat healthy, excerise and the importance of taking care of myself. I was a strong person before the DX but I have become alot stronger. Diabetes has also taught me that things change on any given day, nothing is set in stone. I learned how to embrace life. I learned that I have a lot of patients. I have learned that GOD is good and I know that he will never put more on me than I can bare. I also found out I have a very supportive Husband and Family. They go through the motion’s w/ me with a smile. I could go on and on…

thank you for all of your replies

Sad but true!!! My Step-father is a TYPE 2 and he doesn’t care of his self at all. No habits changed or anything. I was telling him about my POD and he said he hopes he doesn’t have to go on insulin…lol I thought to myself “The route your going you will.” I get bothered by this because I care…but if they don’t care enough… why waste my breath…

Your daughter sounds very smart. I have to be honest…I was just placed on insulin in Jan 08. I have to give people who have been on insulin all of their life or 1/2 of it a round of applause. It takes a lot of courage and education to be able to take care of yourself…OMG! the parents…I couldn’t dream of my daughter having diabetes at 2, 3, 7 so on. I give you all credit!!! When I was first DX I was on pills…insulin when prego…back on pills. This insulin thing is a totally different ball game.

Great responses here ahead of me.
I totally agree with the compassion aspect. I was also taught compassion when I broke my ankle and was on crutches for 7 weeks - now I open doors for people; I ask someone with a lot of packages if I can help them carry something; I help old people across the street. When we have been in a vulnerable place ourselves, we are more open to recognizing the needs of others.
And the “stronger than I thought” - absolutely. 6 years ago I had a completely detached retina. I had to have emergency surgery and lay face down, not moving, for 8 days. In retrospect, I did an amazing job of coping - I got through it, one bit at a time. BTW, my doc said I “healed beautifully…”

100% percent! I agree whole heartedly! I give so much credit to those of you who have dealt with this for a large portion of your lives and those of you keeping constant watch over your precious children.

Diabetes has taught me that I really have finally learned to see the glass as half full as opposed to the way I would have seen it in the past. I feel so fortunate to have been diagnosed later rather than earlier. I feel fortunate to have been given this to deal with as opposed to any number of other things (if I had to be given something, and most are.) It occured to me the other day that I don’t really feel too sorry for myself…I am able to count those blessings, still. It could ALWAYS be worse!