The other day I wondered, how has diabetes changed me? That's pretty well where the thought ended. Actually it ended with me writing it down and thinking "dang, that would be a pretty good topic one day!" Today is the day I tackle it.
Diabetes changed my career dramatically. I have a degree in psychology with a minor in sociology and have a background in finance. Well, after March of 2000, I began to use my psych degree to figure out how to make a two year old eat food to keep him alive when he didn't want to. I later used my background in finance to help figure out how to pay for pump supplies.
I had planned to rejoin the workforce after my youngest son entered school. The boys had family that lived close by so childcare would not be a problem...until diabetes arrived. Diabetes completely sidetracked that plan. I often still wonder what I will be when I grow up. My mother on the other hand swears that diabetes brought me my calling.
Diabetes made me care more about issues such as health care and education. I was never one to sit on the sidelines. I always felt that if you didn't speak up, how could you expect people to know that change was needed? I have definitely spoken when it comes to issues surrounding diabetes.
Diabetes has left me unable to sleep for more than four hours at any given time without waking up. It has given me a few more grey hairs than I probably would have had at this point in my life. It has also added to the fine lines I am beginning to see appear around my eyes.
Most importantly, Diabetes gave me a greater appreciation of how precious life is. The day my son almost died is forever emblazoned in my mind--the pure terror I felt. The helplessness of possibly losing a child was something that I never want to feel again. Over the years we have lost friends to this disease. I have learned to value each hour and cherish so many amazing friendships.
Diabetes has definitely changed me, and maybe in some small way, some of those changes are for the better.