November 1st marks the start of Diabetes Awareness Month.
As I think about what that means for me, I start to feel a lot of emotion and anger towards diabetes, and what it means to live with diabetes. In my case I’m talking specifically about living with type 1 diabetes.
Those of us living with diabetes have a really tough tightrope to walk. On one hand we have to be sure to demonstrate that we can live a “normal” and successful life, with our diabetes. We have to show that living with diabetes does not limit us in any way. We have to prove that there is almost nothing we can’t do because of diabetes.
It is important to demonstrate this, because as soon as we start submitting to limitations, society will feel that they can put limitations on us without our permission.
But because we are all so good at this, and so strong (in ways many people never even think about), there is a misconception that everything is fine. We don’t get the attention we deserve for research funding, and we don’t see huge initiatives that draw in crowds and media and (again) research funding.
Living with diabetes is no way to live. Yes, things could always be worse. But living the way we have to live is hard, and it is never ending. Forever is a long time to struggle through each day. I am angry that I have to live like this. I deserve a cure. You deserve a cure.
We are strong but we are tired. We are patient but we are frustrated. We are alive but have to fight for every single day we have.