LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Love and hate

Six o’clock. We lock the door behind the last patient as she leaves the clinic, and arrange the lobby chairs into a big circle. It is support group night. To get the group warmed up and get a conversation going I start off with a question. “What do you hate most about diabetes?”

Around the circle we go. Each man and woman taking a turn. Nothing unexpected. Fear of complications. Frustration about not being able to eat “everything” I want. Shots are a pain in the ass. Another hates the finger sticks. Neuropathy. When they all finish I ask the second question: “What do you love most about having diabetes?”

One man vehemently: “NOTHING!” The rest, however, gave it thoughtful consideration and all of them came up with something positive. I eat better. I take better care of my health. I lost weight. I exercise more. I value life more.

Oddly, none of them asked me for my answers. So I guess I’ll share them here. What I love most: it brought me here. To this job. To this mission. To this new life. I’ve got a quote from Fredrick Buechner on my wall: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep joy and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Well said.

Another quote posted on my wall is from Dr. JoEllen Habas: “Diabetes is a pain. A pain in the neck. A pain in the finger tips. And a pain in the wallet.” And that, dear readers, sums up what I hate most about diabetes. The huge drain on my wallet.

Diabetes eats up slightly over one-half of my take home pay. It’s a weakly struggle to pay all my bills. I’m considering dropping my house insurance and my life insurance. My tires are bald, I’m way overdue for an oil change, and my car has never had a tune-up. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself until I read a comment posted under the August 1st post by “the m to the c to the a.” Get out the Kleenex and the Zoloft before you read it. I’ve got it easy compared to this poor kid.

OK, so now it is your turn, post by comment: What do you hate most about diabetes? What do you love?


Blogger Allison said...

Hate: I hate to see people suffer. Really, really gets to me. Sometimes what I hate most is the fact that other people hate it so much. I also hate ketones and middle of the night low blood sugars.

Love: Diabetes makes me unique and it gave me a life calling at an early age, which people of any age envy. And I've been on TV, in magazines, and I've met politicians and Mary Tyler Moore. That was pretty cool.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Hmm. Tough question Wil.

I have recently been trying to figure out what exactly it is about Diabetes that I hate so much.

I'm still working through it, and when I've got something to run with I'll toss a post up.

It is very expensive to live with. It really sucks to be put in the position to have to look at surrendering house & life insurance. But it's a position I can understand. You do what you have to do.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Love: I probably would never have met my husband if he didn't have diabetes. My life is much better because of him - in so many ways

Hate: He doesn't take very good care of himself and it's very hard to see a loved one appear to not care about himself when his life revolves around helping and caring for others – friends and strangers

9:56 AM  
Blogger George said...

Hate: I hate the fear that I may not be around to see my grandkids. I do not want to leave this earth before I get to be a grandfather. My father died young. I do not need any help.

Love: I love that it was me and not my sisters. I love the I have it and my kids don't or someone else that I love doesn't.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Chrissie in Belgium said...

I LOVE that D makes me appreciate life.
I HATE that D makes me so "tough", untrusting, skeptical, pain-in-the-ass person.

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Jana said...

Hate: I hate the public misunderstanding of our disease and how that makes me constantly on edge when meeting strangers (and I always get the bad responses when I'm least expecting them, like when I whipped out my kit for an injection before Thanksgiving dinner, and the woman sitting across from me said, "Can't you just get a pancreas transplant?" as if I was just making life harder for myself with injections.)

Love: The fact that diabetes helps me be more disciplined in my daily life (specifically, not drinking to excess and excerising often).

7:25 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Hate: that's easy. I hate the uncertainty. The nagging fear that years of doing the wrong (or slightly wrong) thing will cause me to lose my eyesight, or have kidney problems, or something else.

I also hate that I have to plan to do something spontaneous if it involves exercise of any sort. I even remember that having diabetes affected me when I proposed to my darling wife. I wanted to make sure my blood sugars were good before I asked her the question - thankfully I was.

Love: it's allowed me to be a diabetes advocate, and to help others in unexpected ways. Both of these are good things, but the hate factors far outweighs the love factors.

9:08 AM  
Blogger karondaray said...

I hate the worry. The worry over will they grow up to be "healthy" adults that can handle the challeges throw at them. I hate that i can't let go of the worry. Right now my duaghter is at a friends house, 5 minutes away. I am worried, can't show it tho. I worry that i haven't/can't equip them to live, to really live with this for the REST OF THIER LIVES.

I love that they are stronger people(kids)for it. I love that they are kinder and caring. I love that they aren't afraid of it. I love that they learned to adapt to change. ( i hate that they had to learn that at a young age too). I love that we have had to meet people and learn things that we would have never had to do before. I love that they can live with this.
I hope i can ask them this quesstions in 20 years and they will not have the worry, or not as much. I hope that they answer that i did teach them to LIVE.

I love this question but you did forget; what do you hope for in the future?


4:10 PM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

Love: Increased self-awareness, friendships with people facing similar struggles

Hate: Time spent managing it, it's pervasiveness, out of range readings, impact on moods, threat of complications

7:35 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hate: The fear. Of complications, of lows, of highs, of forgetting or running out of supplies, or passing it on to other relatives.

Love: All it's taught me. I know more compassion. I think it will make me a better nurse someday.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Jonah said...

Love: the learning. The new stuff. The community.

Hate: The stress. The cost.

4:38 PM  

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