(Thanks to Mike over at My Diabetic Heart for coming up with this one...I feel like I am running out of steam here at the end of NaBloPoMo! Topics are incredibly helpful.)
I'm NOT thankful for, but today, I have decided to pitch in my two cents for Diabetes Blessings Week. I know, it's probably a foreign concept to most people to come up with ways something debilitating can bless your life. It takes a little soul-searching to say, "You know, Diabetes, I don't always think you're an a-hole."
But here are some ways diabetes has been a blessing-in-disguise for me:
1.) I visit a doctor multiple times a year. Whether it's an endocrinologist, an opthamologist, an OB-GYN, or just my family doctor's office, I have always been encouraged to stay up on my health. I've always tried to speak up when something is not right with my body. Do I slack off sometimes? Yes. But I always know where to turn, and whenever I move, I end up searching out a whole new team to work with me.
2.) I eat healthier than I might have otherwise. Lately I've really been fixated on getting enough fiber in my diet and drinking more water.
3.) I try not to take things or people for granted. You never know who you may need to lean on in a tumultuous time of your life. You could be perfectly fine one day and horrible the next. I am often ready to embrace change!
4.) It's made me smarter in odd ways. I am terrible at algebra, but pretty good at working on my correction formulas. I can tell you what's a sugar in the ingredient list of a packaged food, and I can probably tell you what artificial sweetener they've used as well. I've rigged up MacGuyver cooling packs for outdoor days in the summer. I can talk at length about the Glycemic Index, and I've never been to nutritional school. That time we did a blood-typing lab in my college biology class, I was the most popular girl in the room because I could prick my own finger and bleed without fear.
5.) It makes me think. What time are we eating? What kind of bolus should I take? What kind of correction do I want? How much alcohol do I plan to drink at this party? Who are the empowered patients? What can I do to make my blog look better? How many grams of carbs in this salad? What will I write about tonight? Do I call the endo or the CDE? Pizza or subs? When will I be ready to do this damned basal test? Do you think I should get a Dexcom? Diabetes questions run through my head ad nauseum.
6.) I understood the importance of decent health insurance from a very early age. I also learned how to navigate health insurance earlier than a lot of my friends.
7.) On a similar note, it's helped me figure out how to get through to a real person on most automated phone lines!
8.) It's made me even more self-aware. I need to question if I'm being cranky because I'm low, or perhaps high, or perhaps I'm just genuinely cranky and need some sleep or a cup of coffee. Like now. Now is a good time for me to go to bed.