Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?
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I think just reading this prompt nearly gave me a panic attack. Diabetes is no easy thing, but I absolutely cannot imagine trading it for something else - "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't," right? Hell, I'm not even 100 percent sure how well I would cope with that cure they keep promising. Have you ever been in pain - twisted an ankle, had a UTI, scratched your cornea - and not been fully trusting of the recovery? Like, been afraid to put your weight on that bum leg or had a little PTSD about going to the bathroom? If I no longer had diabetes, I don't know what I'd do - I can't fathom the idea of eating what I want, when I want, with no repercussions or carb-counting. I don't think I'd be able to do it, to trust in it. I'd be the world's only non-diabetic who did 10 blood sugars a day just to "make sure."
But I digress.
I would never want to switch chronic diseases, because everybody's illness is their own personal little hell - that's what knowing all you lovely folks in the DOC has taught me. No matter how perfect something looks from the outside, someone is working their ass off and still feeling like they're screwing things up all over the place, still worrying if they're doing it "right," still wondering what their health and life is going to look like in 5, 10 or 20 years. I know that the world's "best diabetic" still needs cheerleading on a shitty day, still has those aggravating YDMV moments where that asshole butterfly flapped its wings in Tibet and now their BG is hovering well over 300. And I know that we all have our victory days, of course, where we're kicking ass and taking names. But the DOC lesson that I've taken to heart is that our diseases might be different in some ways - we were diagnosed at different ages, they call it T1 or T2 or LADA, or, heck, we're even the same type but I have to bolus for coffee and you don't - but that these ways are so very small as to be inconsequential. The big thing is that we're all dealing with a chronic illness, we're all doing the same endless uphill climb together, and that's a helluva lesson in compassion and understanding.
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