Is Diabetes Really Your Reason?

January 13th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Do you ever use your diabetes as an excuse to get out of doing something?   

It sounds dorky and pious, but I used it as an easy excuse to get out of drinking alcohol in high school and college.  (It meant I didn’t have to tell my friends I wasn’t interested in being as stupid as they were when they got drunk.  And I didn’t have to deal with my parents learning I ever drank.)

I know several people who have used their diabetes to skip lines at amusement parks.  I myself love that I always have an excuse to have food with me at places where no food is allowed… even if I’m not low and don’t need the food. 

I’m not talking about necessary reasons to avoid going to work or school if you are in DKA or need to do something for your health; I’m talking about knowing you actually can do something you’re supposed to do, and using diabetes as an excuse to avoid doing it because you simply don’t want to do whatever it is.

Those are the excuses I’m talking about.

I think we’re lucky that life with either type of diabetes doesn’t mean life in a hospital or a life with restrictions.  Yes, we need to pay super attention to things few others need to pay any attention to whatsoever.  Sure, it’s a difficult and draining thing to live day in and day out and watch every morsel of food and calculate and guess and be wrong much more often than we feel right…

… but it isn’t like our daily lives require us to avoid stairs or that we need help breathing.

I think other people living with other diseases and other physical limitations have it tough, too.  Like I always say, my diabetes is a thing… and we all have things. Some have a tortuous childhood, some have a missing limb, some have an incurable infection.  We all have things.

I will never forget the man in front of me at my first marathon who ran that dang thing on one leg.  I mean, who am I to complain I had to stop to check my blood sugar when this guy has one leg running twice the distance either of mine ran.  Sheesh.

People do some amazing things.  I use their words about excuses and limits to put some perspective on my life with diabetes:

I never want to hear that I have limits; I want to push the envelope every day.”  – Brian Boyle, a 2004 car accident victim who was in a coma for 2 months with a narrow chance of surviving.  He had to relearn how to talk and walk… and who now succeeds at Ironman competitions.

“Setting goals… helps when your life has been turned around twice.  It’s kept me out of the pity pit.–Nick Roumonada, a man who lost his leg to bacterial meningitis at age 13 and who at age 31 developed focal dystonia which impairs motor skills.  He manages his symptoms with running and marathon training.

 “…I worried about falling [as I ran the 2008 New York City marathon with 2 guides].  But I’m glad I did it.  I need to keep moving forward.” –Yuki Goto, a man who was in a 2006 car crash that left him with traumatic brain injury.  He still suffers from seizures, poor balance and double vision.

These are some amazing folks.  I think one of the most amazing things about each of them is that they probably don’t think they are very amazing at all!

Have a great day out there.  Don’t let anything hold you back!

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