Okay, please don’t shoot me.
If I was offered the cure to type 1 diabetes, I would say no.
*waits for the backlash of comments about my lack of sanity usually received after stating this*
Whenever the question is posed to me now, I give the expected answer – “Yes, I would love the cure, it’s all I ever dream of! I can’t wait to not finger test ever again and have my own working beta cells! Etc etc” Blah-de-blah-de-blah. It’s the stock answer. Because the truth is too difficult to explain, the looks I get are not worth the effort of trying to make people understand my point of view and I honestly can’t give a reason for why I feel like this. But I will try.
I’d like you to imagine you were born with wild, frizzy hair. The type of hair that brushes get stuck in on a daily basis. The hair that turns into an Afro on too rainy or too humid a day. The hair that you simply can’t tame into a sensible ponytail, so you improvise and scrunch it into a small explosion of tufts and curls that vaguely resembles a half ponytail bun thing, because it’s all you can do. Everybody who has this hair HATES it with a passion – always complaining of how easily it becomes knotty through the day and how frustrating it is and how you yearn for beautifully straight hair.
You live with this hair, coping with the struggles daily for years on end. There are some positives, because so many people love your hair and who can hate how soft it is when you’ve brushed it? But eventually one day, you are given the chance to straighten your hair with this all-powerful brand new technology. With excitement you begin the process, delicately separating the sections of hair and ensuring every single strand is perfect before turning to the mirror for the big reveal.
But the person looking back at you is a stranger. Someone with long, flat, straight and slightly darker hair has stolen your face. It’s not you.
This is what type 1 diabetes is to me. I have bad days, I forget to manage it well, I struggle and I cry. But I wouldn’t be me without it.
Being diabetic has made me the person I am today, with my confidence, bravery (I like to think) and grit for getting through the tough times (even though it sometimes seems like they never end, they always do and I come out the other side a better person). It is such a huge part of my life that I can’t imagine life without it. I’ve accepted it’s a part of me and for the most part I’m grateful because it has given me so many opportunities to grow, learn and find who I am.
Yes, my ‘wild frizzy hair’ of a condition has needles, fear and many MANY other negative aspects. Yes, in reality I would probably kick myself and take the cure because – Hey, no more diabetes with all its risks and outcomes? Yes please! But it isn’t all terrible. Diabetes can and does have its perks as we all know. (Theme parks are a particularly large perk, don’t you think?!)
So, would I like the cure to type 1 diabetes? I don’t know.
Type 1 diabetes is one of the puzzle pieces of the jigsaw that is me and without it the picture isn’t complete.
*After seeing some responses I would to add about how I would feel lost without it. Diabetes care takes up such a big part of my life and the conferences and events I attend are such a big part of my year that it would feel completely unnatural to not be diabetic and to lead my life without the daily tasks and big events!:)