Seven little letters

June 22nd, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

It hit me again last night when I was working out. 

It’s pretty amazing that I’m still alive.

It’s something that I realized a long time ago and kind of carry with me all the time, but sometimes something happens and I look it straight in the face.  If I had been born before insulin was discovered/invented/derived/produced/manufactured, I wouldn’t be here.

I see it in my diagnosis picture.  I see how close I was.  I know how that felt, and my heart breaks for everyone who came before me who knows how that feels and who didn’t have the fortune I have had.

Me, now a type one diabetic.

Stopped at home after my doctor diagnosed me. On my way to the hospital for my four day stay.

I think about the researchers who spent their professional lives making insulin something we could all benefit from.  I know they didn’t know about me.  I wonder who they did know, and who they were working to save, and who they were unable to save.  I wonder if they ever thought about how those of us today would feel about them.

I see how small the vials of insulin are, and how miniscule a unit seems when it’s in a syringe or priming out of my pump catheter.

It doesn’t feel that small to me.

I looked down yesterday at my legs as I was doing a squat.  I saw my leg muscles and I saw my little pock marks that scar tissue caused after ten years of injections in the same two square inches in my thigh. 

But I also saw legs that have supported me as I crossed countless finish lines, and carried me up thousands of hills, and have grown physically and mentally stronger with every experience.

I thought about the people who don’t need to know insulin exists.  I thought about how many of them don’t realize they are incredibly fortunate to have a body that functions naturally and how very few of them take the time to treat their bodies the way they were intended to function: by moving.

So many of us are doing such amazing things with our lives with diabetes.  I think it’s important to recognize how special it is that not only have we been given the opportunity to continue to live because of the hard work of so many to discover and deliver insulin, but to also recognize that we are special individuals: we have been given a chance to really live our lives

So while I don’t enjoy the stretch marks I have from the weight I re-gained so quickly after I was diagnosed and started on insulin, and I don’t enjoy the scar tissue or the ratty fingertips, I see them for what they are: signs of hard work and innumerable rewards

It’s weird to say to people who are no longer with us, but I need to say it anyway: thank you for working hard to find a way to keep me alive on insulin.

I have one body and it’s been through a lot.  But through that, I have thrived and my body has thrived. 

Let’s keep going.

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