This I Believe

Gerald - Harleysville, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 27, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: illness

“You have Diabetes.” said the Doctor. “We have to wait for the blood test comes in for confirmation, but in the meantime we’re going to transport by ambulance you to Children’s Hospital Boston for care.” He added .That was it. With those ten words my life had changed forever. At that point in my life I really didn’t know all the much about diabetes. I thought it was something that old people get when they’re fat (it’s a big misconception; I wasn’t the only person who thought that). I had a knot in my stomach the size of a basketball. The Doctor called my parents. I’m guessing he said something along the lines of; “Hey! Your kids’ got diabetes.” I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through my parents minds. My dean of students then talked to my father; by the time the phone got handed to me my mother had already hit the road to drive up to Boston (a six hour drive from Philadelphia). I felt horrible; though not because of my stomach. My father said to me; “Your mother will be there in the morning. Everything is going to be alright.” Was it? It turns out that after a short stint in the hospital things really were okay. Ever Since I was diagnosed with Diabetes last May it seems that Death could be around any corner, but I know – and have often told people – that I’m going to live forever. Ok, I know nobody lives forever; I am determined to live my life to fullest. I have things to do, places to go, and people to see. I can’t die. Life is a funny thing. Well, not laugh-out-loud funny, it’s more ironic. I see irony in the fact that one day you could be on top of the world and the next in the lowliest slum. I’m Sick. I’ve comes to terms with it. Like 250,000 of my fellow Americans I suffer from Type I diabetes. When I tell people that I have diabetes 9 out 10 respond with; “I’m sorry” and some even add in a “that sucks”. When people tell me they’re sorry I usually ask them; Why? Did you give me Diabetes? The absolute last thing I want is sympathy. I usually tell people to save their sympathy for people who need it. People always see my Diabetes as a “bad” thing. I, however, consider it a gift. I know; what? Of course if given the choice of having it or not I would choose the latter. I thank God everyday that it’s not cancer of some other disease that causes pain. My disease causes me no pain. I’m lucky. This I believe.