Not My Diabetes

When I was in high school, I was one of 4 diabetics (that I know of). This week, the second one of the other 3 died of diabetic complications.

And yet, even writing that, it sounds absurd. After all, I'm sitting here, more than 25 years into this thing, without a single complication and a nearly non-diabetic blood sugar of 137, 30 minutes after eating a bag of chips.

There's a lot I don't know, but probably the biggest thing I don't know is why this disease is fairly easy for me, compared to so many Type 1 diabetics. On one hand, I could take the credit - say I *care* more than others, or stay up on the technology more than others or say I can count carbs faster and more accurate than others. Those things could be true.

But on the other hand, maybe I'm just lucky. Maybe my body chemistry causes me to process artificial insulin the way the chemists intended. Maybe my fat content is ideal for sticking a thin needle in me and delivering the goods. Maybe running 30-50 miles a week feeds something besides my ego.

Truth is, I don't know.

This month is National Diabetes Month and diabetics all over the Web are slapping logos on their blogs and Twitter accounts so that... well truth is, I'm not sure why they do it, but they do. And there's a piece of me that wants to say, "Really, it's ok. I'm alright. We're all alright. Give your money, your time, your sympathy to the homeless. Or cancer patients. Someone who needs it more than I do, for crying out loud."

But then I think about the fact that 50% of my diabetic classmates are gone and I realize that there are plenty of reasons why it's as good a cause as any, even if it's not because of me. In fact, it might very well be a great cause, despite me.

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