The Cure for Type 1 Diabetes?

Okay, please don’t shoot me. 

If I was offered the cure to type 1 diabetes, I would say no. 

*winces*

*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!:) 

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6 thoughts on “The Cure for Type 1 Diabetes?

  1. I do not know if I would or not. I sense that there are no free lunches and often times the cure is worse than the problem. but who knows, maybe I would?

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes.org blog page for the week of June 13, 2016.

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    • I know what you mean. It would be a difficult decision and process for me to ‘acclimatise’ to it if I was offered the cure, definitely!

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  2. As another pancreasless person I would want to be certain the cure would ‘work’. I went through enough getting rid of my pancreas! I couldn’t be bothered with a less than 100% guaranteed cure.

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  3. I think you can become comfortable with a condition like diabetes because it is so intrinsic to your daily life. I actually believe that it doesn’t affect your personality, that you are who you were always going to be, just that it can make you into the best version of who you are. Like a life lesson. Others are right – taking it away would just set you on the path to a new phase of your life ‘career,’ where you would dedicate that energy to something else constructive and enhancing. I do get where you’re coming from though. The shock of such a huge change would take some getting used to. It’s like the panic I have when I hear the buzz of someone’s phone and think it’s a cgm alert, then realise that my daughter isn’t with me, that I don’t have responsibility for diabetes right at that moment – I do feel a bit lost and bereft for a moment. Very thought provoking!

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  4. People constantly ask me “how do you give yourself needles? do you miss not having to inject” my response is always “I have had diabetes longer than I haven’t had it, I don’t remember what it was like to not test my blood sugar and inject. It’s just a regular thing to me and I can’t imagine not doing it”

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