Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A New Diagnosis

What if someone you loved very much was diagnosed with diabetes? Maybe not even a loved one, but a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger? What would
you say?

What if that person was a child?

…a teenager?

…or an adult?

What would you say to the parents of a child, who have just spent several days in a hospital wondering--every waking moment--what the future holds for their child?

And what of a teenager who feels that their life is just starting and now they have to deal with this disease?

Or how about an adult who has tasted a “normal” life and doesn’t understand why?

What would you say?

Could you honestly look in to the eyes of a sleep-deprived parent and tell them, with a straight face, that everything was going to be okay?

When I was diagnosed as a child, with type 1 diabetes, negativity was the norm. There wasn’t much hope for living beyond 21. I was told to prepare for a slow death. Was I encouraged to do well? Sure, but I wouldn’t last with this disease as an adult. Thanks for playing.

My diagnosis was over 32 years ago. I am now 40. I’ve had my share of battles with diabetes, but (and note my words here), I still have the will to win. I still have the will to live a long, awesome life.

When I meet a newly diagnosed patient – especially a child – I ask them one question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Many sheepishly reply, “a doctor, nurse, police officer”, or the occasional “engineer”.

“Guess what?” I tell them with excitement. “You can! And don’t let diabetes stop you from being who you want to be.” Smiles follow and parents are relieved knowing that their precious child can live a long, productive life.

This writing is a gentle reminder that we, too, can be and can do anything we want when we properly manage our diabetes. The only boundaries we have are the ones we place on ourselves.

Properly manage your diabetes and…

...let your dreams take you wherever you want to go.

7 comments:

Patrick Chapman said...

I couldn't agree more. It seems people spend a lot of energy telling each other what they can't do instead of encouraging each other to do what they can to the best of their abilities.

I figure partial paralysis and diabetes have both failed to defeat me at this point so I'm pretty much unstoppable when I put my mind to something. What more people need to realize, is that everyone is unstoppable if they just keep the right attitude.

CALpumper aka Crystal said...

Great post Mark.
We do need to be reminded that we Can. ;-)

Stacey D. said...

Great encouraging words! I think we all need to hear them from time to time.

Jaimie said...

Love this post! It was a wonderful thing to read this morning...Thank you! :)

Cherise said...

Great Post! Very encouraging!!! I always enjoy reading your post

Bethanne said...

I was thinking, yes, I could say that to them. Everything is going to be okay. :) Not easy, but whose life is? Right? Better a diabetic than a cancer patient or a struggling alcoholic, if you ask me. Thanks for the encouragement.
~Bethanne

Scott K. Johnson said...

Having the will to win is so key. You are a great example for many of us.