November 14th was chosen by the International Diabetes Federation because it also happens to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.
Anyone with insulin dependent diabetes knows how important these two chaps are and I personally owe my life to them.
But it’s bitter sweet to wish people a “Happy World Diabetes Day” when maybe I should save my wish and wish that I didn’t have diabetes in the first place.
Why should I celebrate this day? Why am I celebrating having an illness??? I could roll over and say “to hell with it”. I could decide to not care anymore and give up – let diabetes do its worst and painfully make my life miserable until death.
But I choose to fight! I choose to want to live a good life for a long time and watch my children grow up and maybe even become a grandmother. I want to keep all of my digits and my sight; I don’t want to be on a waiting list for a donor kidney. I want to live life to the fullest.
So, I work hard at trying to stay on top of it. I take my insulin, I test my glucose levels multiple times a day and then some, I weigh my food to find out the carbohydrate content and then calculate how much insulin to inject, and I try to eat healthily.
So I’m not really celebrating having diabetes. I’m celebrating life and the quality of it.