There's no denying it, diabetes is a horrible disease. It is unpredictable and unexpected. It attacks your body and affects your life and the lives of your loved ones more than anyone would ever have imagined. At its worse, diabetes is a murderer.
I think that, for most people, a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is soul-destroying. D-Parents worry intensely and the person with it cannot envision how they will ever be able to live a 'normal' life again. However the truth of the matter is that if we look after our diabetes properly, we can do anything we put our minds to! Although it is frustrating and potentially dangerous, there are much worse diseases to have than diabetes.
This realisation struck me one day when I was watching a TV programme called Born to be Different. It was a documentary about 6, ten year old children, each born with different disabilities. All of the children were inspiring, but it was a girl named Shelbie who caught my attention.
Shelbie has a rare chromosome disorder called Partial Trisomy 9P. This can cause heart defects, physical abnormalities and severe learning difficulties. She requires several different drugs a day and has a limited life-span. Not only that, but at the age of 10 Shelbie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
When interviewed, Shelbie's mum said that she was worried by the fact that "when their blood sugar levels are low, people with diabetes can say they feel funny. Shelbie can't do that." What surprised me most of all was that, 3 weeks later, Shelbie's mum went on to say that "diabetes has actually been the easiest part of her care."
It was this that made me realise that there are far worse things to have than diabetes. For Shelbie's mum, diabetes was just yet another problem to add to the long list of her daughter's disorders. Of course diabetes, like any other disease, is evil. We all wish that we or our loved ones didn't have it. But, with access to the right care and effort, diabetes doesn't have to stop anyone from living a fully functioning life. It's such a shame that I couldn't say the same about disorders such as Partial Trisomy 9P.
Sending Shelbie and her family hope of better health and happiness in the future. x