Tuesday, 2 August 2011

There are worse things than Diabetes.

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


  1. you are so right daisy, there are worse diseases to have. and i must remind myself of that regularly when i feel down or angry at my numbers. i remember once, when my children had to call the ambulance because of a really bad low, the EMT's said they love coming to the aid of diabetics, because in most cases, there is an easy fix and a happy ending.

  2. Oh how heartbreaking. This made me think, my niece has cerebral palsy, she cannot speak and is bound to a wheelchair...how would she communicate if she had diabetes and had low blood sugar? You are so right Daisy, instead of being sad about what we don't have (that working pancreas), we should focus on staying healthy and enjoying our life. I suppose we have been blessed if you look at it right. Thanks for this post Daisy...needed to look at D in a new light!

    P.S. So happy the sun came out over there for you...enjoy! ((Hugs))

  3. Thank you for helping us keep things in perspective