Monday, November 14, 2011

World Diabetes Day

Diabetes is sort of a funny thing.

I mean, I guess it is a "thing" but you can't really reach out and touch it, or punch it in the face, or tell it how you hate it when it gives you the shakes or makes your teeth feel sweater-ed. You can't send it hate mail or that grotty fruit cake stuff for the holidays. And you definitely can't tell it to get lost, take a hike or, my personal favorite, SCRAM (well, you could, but it doesn't really have ears).

And yet, for not really being a physical "thing", it is a really big "thing" in any Diabetic's life.

For instance, without the relatively new treatment of insulin (only since 1922) Diabetes would have killed me shortly before my twelfth birthday. I would never have gone to college, much less graduate with an Aerospace Engineering degree, I would never have been the drum major or the high school newspaper's editor in chief, my sister would have become an only child, and I would never have met that sweet guy Chris, the love of my life. Heck, I would never have been part of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) because, well, there wouldn't really be anyone alive to write about our common Diabetes bond.

You might think all of that is pretty harsh, but the truth is, Diabetes itself is pretty harsh. It's not a fun ailment, label, or category. It doesn't have days off, or even hours or minutes off. It is needy emotionally, physically, and financially. It doesn't care if you had a bad day at work, it will make sure you have a rough night. It makes you moody and tired and lonely. And it does all these things with no invitation, no reason, no prevention.

It just really isn't fair.

But we all have trials [my lovely, religious mom would call these "crosses we must bear"], and it just so happens Type 1 Diabetes is mine.

Today is World Diabetes Day. I won't be "celebrating" but I will be "participating" in the Big Blue Test and other World Diabetes Day activities. But most of all, today, I will just be me...a girl, a friend, a fiance, a daughter, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, a sister, a college graduate, a college student, a Flight Test Engineer...oh yes, and a Type 1 Diabetic.