Friday, May 13, 2011
Believe it or not, I'm having a hard time picking my favorite thing about diabetes. But here are a few:
Studying diabetes means studying almost EVERYTHING. Within the realm of medicine, I learn about genes, nerves, veins, blood, insulin, the entire digestive system, the immune system, and so forth, with a brief foray into veterinary medicine. Within the world of politics, diabetes prompts me to learn about business, congress, the FDA and CDC, the history of medicine, drug laws, international trade and relations, diseases endemic to other places, life expectancy in general, and the list could go on forever. Within the blogosphere, diabetes prompts me to learn about social interaction, grief processes, fighting schools, the insurance appeals process, how to use the internet, etc. Learning about managing diabetes means learning about diabetes products (scores of them), nutrition, and how to understand what I read. Figuring out how to understand what I read requires learning about statistics, logic, probability, and lots of vocabulary. I could learn forever. The lived experience of type 1 diabetes is something you can't choose. It has to choose you. I felt pretty special and lucky after I was diagnosed with diabetes. There are always options within diabetes management. A gazillion of them! The DOC. The real life diabetes community. Because of diabetes, I have an endocrinologist. Because my endocrinologist is really really awesome, I got diagnosed with gallstones after a decade of gallstone symptoms. Diabetes got me over my fear of needles, and pushed me past my prejudices about medications. Without diabetes, I would probably have taken longer to decide to go on testosterone- and that would have been awful. Diabetes gave me the experience and the confidence to know how to interact with the medical system when I needed it for other things. Diabetes pushed me to think harder and deeper about what it means to be mortal. Diabetes lets me win arguments about when to eat.
Posted by Jonah at 5:53 PM