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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World Diabetes Day

You knew this was coming.

For those of you who aren't very connected to the diabetic world, November 14th is World Diabetes Day.  It's the birthday of the guy who invented insulin or something like that, and all the diabetic communities put up long and sappy posts about the hardships dealt with and the friendships made, because without this guy and his invention, the world would be down a couple hundred million people.

And hey, if you can't beat 'em - join 'em.

It's been 10 years since I was diagnosed with this disease, and remembering what life was like before it can sometimes be very difficult or as clear as water.  I have certain memories in my head, and instead of thinking about the good times they hold, the only question that comes to mind is 'was I diagnosed then?'  I never want another child on this Earth to think that way.  I've had days where I've felt like a stronger person for dealing with this disease, and days where I've wanted to throw my insulin pump out the window and say screw it because I can't deal with it anymore.

However (yes, there is a however), I can't deny the good things diabetes has brought me.

I know, I know; what good things?  But you'd be surprised.

I'll be honest; diabetes has helped me find a voice.  I've been able to go in front of my community and educate them, and help them understand a large percent of this country.  I've been able to meet people, make friends, and be a part of a large community of caring and creative people (because come on; I've seen people turn lancets into adorable earrings; how many people know what a lancet even is?).  The friends I've made through diabetes will last a lifetime.

Yes, my eyes are closed.  No laughing
I don't think I'd be who I am today without diabetes, and for that I am truly grateful.  The laughs, the tears, the people, the lessons...they all mean something.  Back when I was little, and people asked me to name a superhero, I would've named some guy with a comic book and spandex.  Nowadays I can't even think of the word superhero without thinking of D-Boy, the diabetic superhero and his sidekick Ribbon (pictured above), or the amazing mother that has made them so strong (looking at you, Alexis!).

So for the friends, the doctors, the nurses, the awesome JDRF office workers at my local branch, the overly-kind teachers who have let me retake final exams, and my own family...thank you.  Thank you for having hope in my despite this disease, and thank you for giving me the strength to fight it.  I love you all more than I can begin to put into words.